Link and Embed Best Practices | Alexander Street

Link and Embed Best Practices

Alexander Street video and audio content can be integrated into Web pages and learning management systems in two ways: links or embeds. Both are provided for video and audio content, playlists, and clips in all Alexander Street collections. “Look for the following symbol below throughout the Alexander Street new interface for items this feature is available for:

Using a link will provide a permanent digital pathway to a specific video, audio album or work, part of a video, audio track, playlist, or clip. Using an embed will generate Java-based code that can be used to add a full-featured Flash-based player directly into any Web page. As with links, embeds can be used for videos, parts of videos, albums, audio tracks, playlists, or clips.

Tips for Links

When linking to content, please be sure to either copy and paste the URL in the text of the popup screen. Do not use the URL displayed in your Web browser's address bar. If you are copying a link into a learning management system, insert it as plain text and not as a Web link, and be sure not to add any spaces to the inserted text.


Tips for Embeds

When embedding content, please be sure to either copy and paste the complete text of the embed code in the popup screen. You can check by verifying that the code starts with “<script” or “<iframe” and ends with “/script>” or “/iframe>”. This embed code should be used only in Web pages. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email clients, and other desktop software do not support this code. Depending on the Web editor you are using, you may need to use the “source code” option for inputting embed codes, as plain text may not be supported. For more information about using iframes, visit the w3schools iframe page.


To allow for seamless off-campus playback, we are able to insert your institution’s proxy information into all links and embed codes on Alexander Street Press’ new interface. Off-campus users may see a login page instead of the embedded media or intended interface page if this authentication step is not in place.

Please contact your account manager if you would like to set this up for your institution.

NOTE: Due to recent browser security changes, linking to a secure page from a non-secure page, or having proxy information inserted in the middle of URLs instead of at the front, can result in authentication issues.  Should you see your proxy information inserted into permalinks, but are still being asked to log in by our site, please contact your account manager using the link above.

Learning Management Systems

Alexander Street links and embeds are supported in most learning management systems.

Some learning management systems apply security settings that do not allow for the insertion of Java-based code. You may need to adjust your system’s security settings to allow code from Alexander Street.

To provide the best experience, it is recommended that you tie your course management software’s authentication with your single-sign-on and/or proxy authentication.

For details on where to find further information on the security settings and authentication tools of your course management system, please see the support links listed below.

There are always more ways than one to accomplish something in a course management system, but these quick tips may help you get started and troubleshoot problems.

Quick Tips

  • Angel Learning:
    • Add embeds by selecting "source" view of your course management system's rich text editor, and imputting the <iframe> embed code
  • Blackboard
    • Create a content item in Blackboard
    • Toggle the editor to HTML mode, and paste it in.
  • Desire2Learn:
    • For embeds, click on the “Edit HTML Source” button of your course page.
    • Paste your embed code into the HTML source window and then click “Update.”
  • Moodle:
    • Add embeds using Moodle’s editing mode.
    • Use the “Add a Resource” menu to select “Compose a Web Page” and name your embedded media.
    • Select the (<>) icon to add code using the HTML editor.
    • After saving your page with the embed code, click “No” on the security warning to allow the embedded media to load.
  • Sakai:
    • Embedding from our site will not work in Sakai, due to their security settings. We recommend you use permalinks instead of embedding if your institution uses Sakai. Other learning management systems are not affected.

Other Valuable Information

Some browsers have security settings that do not allow a mix of https: (secure) and http: (non-secure) content on a Web page. As both protocols are fully supported by Alexander Street, you may wish to use one or the other in all embed URLs and links that you use in Web pages and learning management systems.

If you have any questions about using links or embeds, please contact the Alexander Street Customer Support team at